Panic Attacks

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on

A sudden feeling of fear or terror that comes over like a wave without warning. The heart starts to pound fast, a feeling of not being able to breathe, and sometimes chest pains.

Panic attacks are quite common and can affect up to 40% of the population at some time or another.

There are several physical signs and symptoms of a panic attack which may include:

- Racing heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness, feeling faint
- Trembling
- Muscle tension
- Excessive perspiration
- A feeling that the world around isn’t real
- Fear of losing control
- Feeling of dread or danger
- Tingling sensation and chills in arms and legs

What separates panic attacks from fear?

Fear is a stressful situation that commonly occurs when facing something that is unknown or a situation that gives a feeling of discomfort. A fear response is connected to the adrenal glands. The human body is designed to go into ‘fight or flight’ in the presence of danger for protection.

A panic attack differs from fear in the way that it can be an unexpected, debilitating, and immobilising response that strikes unexpectedly, without warning, and for no apparent reason. Panic attacks can even occur during a relaxed state or even sleep. However, it is the same frightening feeling that would be experienced if there was a burglar in the house for example.

Panic attacks may occur only once but usually they can become repeat episodes. They can be triggered by situations that have caused panic in the past especially if there was a feeling of danger or inability to escape.

Panic attacks can often mimic signs and symptoms of other health conditions which can result in years of being undiagnosed, these conditions may include:

- Heart attack
- Thyroid problems
- Breathing disorders

Experiencing recurrent panic attacks without treatment may also be a risk factor for:

- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Depression
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Attempted suicide

As these two conditions can be closely connected it is important to have signs and symptoms checked out.

Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body. Major areas for improvement include gut, thyroid, kidney, skin and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers.  As well as lower blood pressure and see relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you leave the house.

Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath

 

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